Among the more than 1,000 groups paying lobbyists to pressure Congress on climate and energy policy, none is spending more than the fossil fuels industry.
The Climate Change Lobby, a project of the Center for Public Integrity, has all the numbers. Here's a look at the most dominant players with more than 90 lobbyists registered in the second half of 2009:
That compares to 59 lobbyists working for environmental and health organizations.
The Washington Post illustrates the spending discrepancy, in an article critical of environmentalists, like this: In the first half of 2009, oil and gas industries spent $82.1 million lobbying Congress, while the alternative energy industry spent $12.1 million -- a 6.8:1 ration. Environmental and health groups spent $6.6 million during that time.
While the news has been dominated by Congress's debate over health care reform, energy and climate legislation awaits attention in the Senate. The House already passed a landmark bill that includes the nation's first cap-and-trade regulation on carbon dioxide. Whether the Senate follows suit, or sets more aggressive targets as environmental groups have urged, remains to be seen. There's plenty of money being tossed around trying to influence the decision.
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